15 July 2004

Democrats Sue New Hampshire Republican Party Over Phone-Jamming

By Anne Saunders Associated Press Writer
Published: Jul 13, 2004

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Democrats sued the Republican Party's state committee and its former executive director over the jamming of telephones set up to take calls from Democrats seeking rides to the polls on Election Day 2002.

The lawsuit also names the head of a telemarketing firm who has been charged in a separate federal investigation with conspiring to jam five telephone lines at Democratic Party offices, party officials said Tuesday.

"Dirty politics has no place in our electoral process," said state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro.

Ovide Lamontagne, attorney for New Hampshire Republican Party, said the lawsuit disrupts the federal investigation, confusing "an orderly and appropriate process."

The lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing the GOP from engaging in illegal activities in the November election and seeks damages for the cost of setting up offices and telephone lines for getting voters to the polls in 2002. Prosecutors say the lines were jammed for about 1 1/2 hours.

Many state and federal races were decided in the 2002 election, including a close U.S. Senate contest between outgoing Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Rep. John Sununu, who won.

Besides the GOP committee and former executive director Charles McGee, the lawsuit names Allen Raymond, head of a Virginia-based telemarketing firm called GOP Marketplace. McGee and Raymond have been charged by the Justice Department with conspiring to jam five phone lines. Raymond pleaded guilty on June 30. McGee is scheduled to enter a plea on July 28.

The government alleges McGee, in his role as the GOP's top state staffer, had the state committee pay Raymond's firm $15,600 to hire a vendor to jam the lines.


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